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There's No Time to Lose!

Once the hand is laid on the plow, no one who looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God
I Kings 19:16,19-21; Psalm 16:1-2,5,7-11; Galatians 5:1,13-18; Luke 9:51-62

Sermon Week Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 9:62

A famous preacher received a letter from a church member, which began as follows: "I listened to your sermon on suffering last Sunday. I just wanted you to know that I didn't know what suffering was until I heard you preach." On a more serious note, he received a letter from another member -- a mother -- who wrote that she didn't know what love was until she really heard the Gospel preached.

The preacher explained that this mother was always very active in the Church, always ready to help. And she believed she was a Christian. But there was one big problem. One of her children, it seems, had given her a lot of trouble. The mother complained that her child learned how to say 'No' at an early age -- and then just kept saying it. This disrupted the mother's comfortable life, and she began to resent her daughter for it. And her resentment became more and more evident to the daughter until, finally, the thirteen-year-old girl ran away from home. The note she left read, "It's obvious, mother, that you don't love me, and it would be better for both of us if I go away."

The mother's world collapsed, and a deep sense of hopelessness and despair set in until she finally became honest enough to say, 'I don't love my daughter. I don't even love myself.' At that moment, she went down on her knees to begin the whole business of being a Christian all over again -- from scratch. And the words she'd been hearing all her life about God's love and forgiveness and reconciliation suddenly grasped her as they never had before. The Grace of God she had heard about and talked about became real to her for the first time -- and her whole life changed from the inside out. And when she found her daughter, a miraculous reconciliation began.

This is what Paul was so concerned about when he wrote his letter to the Galatians. They had heard the Gospel preached, but it was apparent that it was not making a real difference [...]

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